Dr Williams School, Dolgellau, Records

Scope and Content

Records of Dr Williams School, Dolgellau, 1875-1975, including School Governors' minutes, 1875-1969, and agendas, 1925-1972; ledgers, 1878-1966; reports, 1915-1947; admission registers, 1900-1974; school magazines, 1897-1973; speech day programmes, 1900-1972; other programmes and ephemera, 1883-1975; visitors' books, 1899-1975; administrative files, 1936-1975; duplicate reports, 1969-1974; leavers books, 1930-1975; and records relating to a proposed new dormitory block, 1951-1952.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dr Williams' School for Girls was established in Dolgellau, Merionethshire, in 1875. It was named after Dr Daniel Williams (1643-1716) of Wrexham, a prominent Nonconformist minister who left £50,000 in his will for various philanthropic causes. After the Education Act 1870, the Dr Williams Charity trustees agreed to provide an annual grant for a girls' school in north Wales; the site in Dolgellau was bought by Samuel Holland (1803-1892). Holland became the first Chairman of the school's Board of Governors. The school opened on 2 February 1878 with 30 pupils. Following the Welsh Intermediate Education Act 1889 it was recognised as the local grammar school for girls and became a Direct Grant School from 1904. It became a boarding school following the Education Act 1944 and eventually closed in 1975. The site was taken over by Coleg Meirionnydd and later by the tertiary college, Coleg Meirion Dwyfor.


Arranged into the following: admission registers; school magazines; annual speech day programmes; miscellaneous leaflets and books; files; duplicate reports; leavers books; minute books; agendas of meetings; ledgers; and reports.

Access Information

No restrictions


Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Meirionnydd Archives, Papers of the Dr Williams School, Dolgellau, catalogue; Meirionnydd Archives, Records of Dr Williams School, Dolgellau, catalogue; Jones, B. Maelor, 'Dr Williams' School, Dolgellau', Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes a Chofnodion Sir Feirionnydd, VI, pp. 173-176; Evans, W. Gareth, '"An Oasis in the Wilderness": The Establishment of Dr Williams' School, Dolgellau', Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes a Chofnodion Sir Feirionnydd, XII (2), pp. 155-176.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Meirionnydd Archives, the National Library of Wales and the National Register of Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply

Appraisal Information

All records have been retained


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

Further papers relating to the school are in Meirionnydd Archives, ZM/301/35, ZM/389/70-71, ZM/643, ZM/781/75, ZM/822, ZM/872, and ZM/976.

Geographical Names